Apple CEO Tim Cook has issued a statement to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. As the number of cases is declining in China, Apple has reopened all of its stores in Greater China.
However, due to the latest developments worldwide, Tim has announced that they will be closing all of its retail stores outside of China until 27th March 2020. According to Tim, reducing density and maximising social distance is an effective way to minimise the risk of virus transmission.
Apple says they will still continue to serve its customers via its retail channels on Apple.com as well as the Apple Store app. For those requiring tech support, customers can visit support.apple.com for further assistance.
Apart from closing its stores, Apple is introducing flexible work arrangements for all of its offices worldwide outside of China. As announced earlier, staff should work remotely if their job allows and if they are required to be on-site, they would need to follow guidance to maximise interpersonal space. Apple will continue to conduct extensive deep cleaning at all sites and they roll out new health screenings and temperature checks.
Meanwhile, Apple’s upcoming WWDC 2020 event will be transformed into an online format. Despite the challenges, Apple sees this as an opportunity to bring developers together in an innovative way.
Apple has also announced its commitment to contribute to the global COVID-19 response which aims to treat those who are sick and to lessen the economic and community impact. At the moment, their donations have reached USD 15 million (about RM64 million) worldwide and Apple is matching its employee donations two-to-one to support the COVID-19 response efforts.